Newcastle United’s Greatest Ever Premier League XI of the 2000’s

With a lofty league position and takeover talk swirling round at the minute, it’s hard not to get even little bit excited as a Newcastle fan at the moment. After all, in recent memory opportunities to do so have been few and far between.

Here at the blog its got us reminiscing about former players and best NUFC XI’s over the years. To make it interesting, what do you feel is our best ever XI from the 21st century?

We had a go here, complete with subs bench which will no doubt cause much debate but here goes!

(4-4-2)

GK: Shay Given



One of our longest serving players and a rock in between the posts for over a decade. A great shot stopper and what he lacked in distribution and aerial prowess he made up for in match winning displays.

RB: Warren Barton

Another great servant who left the club in 2002. Signed for a British record for a defender when he joined Newcastle, Barton was an excellent full back and is an area we have struggled with historically since.

CB: Jonathan Woodgate

Woodgate, when fit of course, was an outstanding defender; the best I have seen as an NUFC fan. His ability to read the game and commanding presence made such a difference to the squad that were flying high under Sir Bobby. If he had stayed fit we may have even won a trophy and his ability was rewarded with a move to Real Madrid.

CB: Fabricio Coloccini

Left under a bit of a cloud a few years ago but Coloccini at his best was a classy centre half. Took a while to adapt to English football and arguably was at his best when we finished 5th under Alan Pardew, culminating in him being voted in the Premier League team of the year. He was classy on the ball, read the game superbly and was a calm influence at the back.

LB: Olivier Bernard

Tough call with Bernard and Enrique but when on form his final product was a little better. Always linked well with Robert on the left hand side and was physically strong too. Faded badly towards the end of his time here and retired early due to poor fitness, but in his prime was a great player and key part of the team who enjoyed Champions League football.

RM: Nolberto Solano

Nobby was one of the few positive things Kenny Dalglish brung to the club when he signed for a bargain £2.5m. During two spells at Newcastle he won the love the Geodis nation with his great work rate, understanding of the area and understanding delivery from the right wing.  A clever player that could always be counted on.

CM: Gary Speed

The late Gary Speed was a genuine leader and brilliant box to box midfielder. He could play in the front of the back four, pick a pass and was outstanding in the air. His experience got the best out of our young side that qualified for the Champions League and could be counted on in big games.

CM: Yohan Cabaye

Cabaye is rightly vilified in Newcastle after forcing a move from the club and also for a horror challenge last weekend on Yedlin, but it is easy to forget in his prime at NUFC just how good he was. The heartbeat of the side that came 5th, he was a class act and a set piece specialist.

LM: Laurent Robert

The flamboyant French winger just edges his compatriot Ben Arfa for a place in the side in my opinion after delivering over a longer period of time. Scored some truly spectacular goals and although inconsistent at times, he still racked up an impressive amount of goals and assists during his time of Tyneside. Those two strikes against Spurs will live long in the memory.

ST: Alan Shearer (C)

Who else? Of course Shearer makes the team; our record scorer carried the team for the decade he was at his boyhood club. Still the Premier League’s top all-time scorer, it is hard to imagine we will ever be fortunate enough to have a player of his ability lead the line in our lifetime.

ST: Demba Ba

Ba gets the nod for his lethal few seasons in front of goal while at Newcastle. 29 goals in 54 appearances says it all and the Senegalese scored all types of goals. I always remember him terrorising Manchester United during their 3-0 drubbing on Tyneside. One of many to leave and struggle elsewhere but when at NUFC, was superb.

Substitutes:

Tim Krul, Jose Enrique, Nikos Dabizas, Hatem Ben Arfa, Kieron Dyer, Kevin Nolan, Craig Bellamy.

What would your team be?

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

122 thoughts on “Newcastle United’s Greatest Ever Premier League XI of the 2000’s

  1. Sharpy – Benny’s on over a £100k a week at PSG. Reports are he’s going to Puel’s Leicester. I’d have him back here as a No10 over Perez any day of the week.

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  2. georgio:
    Sharpy – Benny’s on over a £100k a week at PSG. Reports are he’s going to Puel’s Leicester. I’d have him back here as a No10 over Perez any day of the week.

    Georgio – I took the figures from this mate –

    http://www.totalsportek.com/money/psg-salaries/

    He’s not for me like. Perez has talent, but he’s just too light weight to have a regular impact in this league. I think he’d be better suited to the Spanish or French league where it’s less physical.
    Neither are what we need imo. Personally, I would push Merino further up and have a look at him in that position. I like Lotus-Cheek as a number 10 as well personally but he’s currently at Palace.

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  3. Sharpy: how the hell do journalists know which players were discussed at a takeover meeting? A strategic leak to get NUFC fans on their side? If so, I would have picked better players who are not injured.

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  4. Palace get a draw with the last kick. I really do not understand how they are where they are with Zaha, Loftus Cheek and Townsend as well as a few more.

    So, it is 4 points from 10 games and that is not even the worst start ever.

    I am sure we all know who that was. Yes, Mackems last year:

    Sunderland
    Played 10
    2 points
    GD minus 13

    Man City
    1994/95
    Played 10
    2 points
    GD minus 12

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  5. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: how the hell do journalists know which players were discussed at a takeover meeting? A strategic leak to get NUFC fans on their side? If so, I would have picked better players who are not injured.

    Eric – I know mate, I don’t believe those players were mentioned at all to be honest – it’s the daily Star after all.
    I do think that Rafa is a key person in the takeover and where many new owners would get rid on the existing manager for their own man – Rafa is already that person.
    I think a big draw is that they can leave Rafa to take care of the football & spend their money on developing the team, while they focus on developing the club & NUFC brand commercially.

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  6. Troy Deeney strangles Joe Allen and gets a yellow 🙂 They can’t give him a retro ban because the Ref saw it. How does this work again? The Ref saw Mitros elbow against West Ham but he gets 3 games. I am not really saying that is biased against us, I just don’t understand the rules. Surely strangling someone should be a red?

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  7. Bristol city beat the Scum 😀
    And Palace snatch a late equaliser to deny West ham, don’t you just love it.

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  8. Eric Sykes:
    Troy Deeney strangles Joe Allen and gets a yellow They can’t give him a retro ban because the Ref saw it. How does this work again? The Ref saw Mitros elbow against West Ham but he gets 3 games. I am not really saying that is biased against us, I just don’t understand the rules. Surely strangling someone should be a red?

    I have given up trying to make sense of any of the rules mate.

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  9. Nobody even knows how good or bad Luke Shaw is. He was really good going forward but transferred for 29 million when he was 19 and suffered a horror injury. Mourinho seems to imply he is lazy which might be the case if you were a teenager being paid 100k a week.

    Carroll’s injury record means anybody in their right mind should stay away.

    And Barkley is 24 and seems to have been the next big thing forever. Plays one good game in 3. We already have one of those – Jonjo Shelvey. He could work out but it is a gamble. In fact that is what the 3 players named are – gambles.

    You would think that with financial backing we would not have to take such risks as each of these would start at 20 million and we are not even sure they would get in the team.

    Remember when City got all that money they started out with Robinho as a statement signing to show they were in the big time. How did that work out?

    No, give Rafa the money to spend on who he wants and forget the tabloid faves. I am sure Jack Wilshere’s name will be mentioned soon as well.

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  10. kimtoon:
    Bristol city beat the Scum
    And Palace snatch a late equaliser to deny West ham, don’t you just love it.

    If anybody else would take the job I think Grayson would be out. Still might be. I don’t want to see them relegated because I think that might mean administration.

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  11. GlosMag: I have seen in the past that they cannot review something that is in the Ref’s report and a yellow must be in the Ref’s report. They must have changed the rules. It is hard to keep up, and I may as well follow Kimtoon’s lead and just not try.

    Have you seen it? Deeney has him by the neck like he is a ragdoll. Ryan Shawcross steps in and gets shoved over like an 8 stone weakling.

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  12. Cracking match from the young England team. I watched it here and they played really well. Coming back from 2-0 down to win 5-2. Well done. U20’s won their World Cup, U19’s won their European cup and now U17’s win World Cup. The first team could learn a thing or two.

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  13. Perhaps we will get a penalty on Monday? The pundit worms have turned when confronted with the obvious – that Rafa is a top class Manager. Maybe the Ref’s will realise that NUFC have not had a penalty since Churchill was Prime Minister and an opposition sending off since Stone Henge was a complete circle.

    It is not a conspiracy THEORY if it is an actual conspiracy.

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  14. Icedog:
    Tosun scores “again ” get him in Rafa

    apparently he’s on Palace’s wish list ice. Mail reckon Roy will offer £20m in January, though how the hell they’d know is beyond me.

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  15. Dubai Toon:
    Cracking match from the young England team. I watched it here and they played really well. Coming back from 2-0 down to win 5-2. Well done. U20’s won their World Cup, U19’s won their European cup and now U17’s win World Cup. The first team could learn a thing or two.

    maybe we should send them to WC instead of first team .

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  16. kimtoon: apparently he’s on Palace’s wish list ice. Mail reckon Roy will offer £20m in January, though how the hell they’d know is beyond me.

    Cannot see him going there with a risk of them going down,and Bas Dost won’t be coming to the PL he’s payed a million quid for a house y/day,by the way good luck looking a that maybe new home

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  17. Eric Sykes:
    GlosMag: I have seen in the past that they cannot review something that is in the Ref’s report and a yellow must be in the Ref’s report. They must have changed the rules. It is hard to keep up, and I may as well follow Kimtoon’s lead and just not try.

    Have you seen it? Deeney has him by the neck like he is a ragdoll. Ryan Shawcross steps in and gets shoved over like an 8 stone weakling.

    Yup I thought that too .. but apparently it can be .. according to Savage who admittedly is pretty much on a par with Merson for fuckwittedness .. guess we wait and see
    Nope haven’t seen it .. but apparently at one point deeney had one in each hand 😯

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  18. GlosMag: Yup I thought that too .. but apparently it can be .. according to Savage who admittedly is pretty much on a par with Merson for fuckwittedness .. guess we wait and see
    Nope haven’t seen it .. but apparently at one point deeney had one in each hand

    It ranks alongside the NUFC fan trying to punch a horse, Roy Keane taking a swing at Shearer, the Everton fan last week with the 3 year old in his arms talking a swing at a Lyon player, the Cantona Kung Fu kick and Zinedine Zidane chest-butt as best bits of comedy football violence.

    I can probably think of a few more 🙂

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  19. Icedog:
    Tosun scores “again ” get him in Rafa

    Ice – this lad is on fire this season isn’t he?!.
    We need this take over to happen quick, coz I think it’s gonna take a pretty penny to ‘get him over the line’.
    I also think his form won’t have went unnoticed across Europe, so there may be a fair bit of competition for his signature.

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  20. Sharpy17: Ice – this lad is on fire this season isn’t he?!.
    We need this take over to happen quick, coz I think it’s gonna take a pretty penny to ‘get him over the line’.
    I also think his form won’t have went unnoticed across Europe, so there may be a fair bit of competition for his signature.

    His club say 20 mil gets him in Jan,here’s hoping

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  21. Just read that Sunderland article again.

    Fck, Roy Keane is a misery. He attends a misery stadium. I don’t really give a shit if he could beat me at fighting, I could hire someone who would be twice his size and could beat him at fighting. So, stare away Roy Keane. Stare, and fck off.

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  22. I hate Roy Keane by the way. I always imagined his hard man persona in a rugby scrum with the really hard men to see how he was really.

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  23. I’ve seen that incident with Troy Deeney yesterday & it’s an absolute disgrace IMO. The kid looks like a bloody thug. Allen is half his size.
    I thought his comments after the Arsenal game were a bit disrespectful & unprofessional – but yesterday was disgusting. I hope there is action taken against him for that – yellow card or not.

    Also, I thought Mark Noble was out of order yesterday too. He went apeshit at the end of the fans & directed a lot of that towards Antonio. Yes the kid made a mistake, but there was along way for that ball to travel before Zaha scored. Antonio should have just kept it in the corner & im sure there was nobody more disappointed than him. But WH have won a lot of games thanks to Antonio & the lad should be allowed to make a mistake without the captain wanting to chin him on the pitch. If anything save it for the changing rooms. I’m sure Noble has fucked up before.

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  24. Sharpy17:
    I’ve seen that incident with Troy Deeney yesterday & it’s an absolute disgrace IMO.The kid looks like a bloody thug.Allen is half his size.
    I thought his comments after the Arsenal game were a bit disrespectful & unprofessional – but yesterday was disgusting.I hope there is action taken against him for that – yellow card or not.

    Also, I thought Mark Noble was out of order yesterday too.He went apeshit at the end of the fans & directed a lot of that towards Antonio.Yes the kid made a mistake, but there was along way for that ball to travel before Zaha scored.Antonio should have just kept it in the corner & im sure there was nobody more disappointed than him.But WH have won a lot of games thanks to Antonio & the lad should be allowed to make a mistake without the captain wanting to chin him on the pitch.If anything save it for the changing rooms.I’m sure Noble has fucked up before.

    End of the fans?!, end of the game!!. Stupid phone!!.

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  25. And, does Lawro whiten his teeth and darken his skin? Does he have a sun bed at home or a gallon of bronzo? Trips to Morocco on his days off?

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  26. icedog:
    Tosun agent which is his dad at Everton to discuss move at 20 mil,hope Rafa is keeping his eye on it

    Ice – he won’t need to mate. The way Everton are playing his dads likely to go back and tell him he ain’t going there!!. 😂

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  27. He’s in midfield now!!!

    He has to have a clause in his contract that if he is fit he plays – BADLY.

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  28. Everton are mad to think Unsworth can just step in and fix everything with only U23 experience behind him. His team selection today shows his naivety.

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